Top Historic Sights in A Coruña, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of A Coruña

Igrexa de San Xurxo

Igrexa de San Xurxo (Iglesia de San Jorge) was built in 1725-1767 in Baroque style. Here first same-sex marriage in Spain took place between Elisa and Marcela in 1901, which is the basis for the movie of the same name.
Founded: 1725 | Location: A Coruña, Spain

Tower of Hercules

The Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hércules) is an ancient Roman lighthouse on a peninsula about 2.4 km from the centre of A Coruña. The structure is 55 metres (180 ft) tall and overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. It is the second-tallest lighthouse in Spain. The tower is known to have existed by the 2nd century, built or perhaps rebuilt under Trajan, possibly ...
Founded: 2nd century AD | Location: A Coruña, Spain

Igrexa de Santiago Church

Church of Santiago (Igrexa de Santiago) is one of A Coruna"s oldest buildings, the . Originally built in the 12th century, it was modified in the 14th and 15th centuries and has huge historic significance on account of a 13th century statue of Saint James which it houses. Some of the more prominent aspects of the churches detailing originate from the fifteenth century and are gothic in design. The photo to the right ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: A Coruña, Spain

Colegiata de Santa María del Campo

Colegiata de Santa María del Campo represents late Romanesque architecture, it has three naves and apse. There are also some Gothic features. It was built in the 13th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: A Coruña, Spain

San Antón Castle

One of the A Coruña's most interesting monuments, San Anton castle (Castillo de San Antón) in A Coruña was constructed during the 16th and 17th centuries. A fortress built on a small island in the bay to defend the city against attacks coming from the sea, it effectively defended the entrance to the city against the English assault led by Francis Drake in 1589. There are some lovely collections of Celtic jewellery that ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: A Coruña, Spain

A Coruña City Walls

The walls surrounding ancient A Coruña were built in the 13th century by the order of king Alfonso IX. They were damaged by English and Portugalian armies in 1730, 1386 and again in 1589. Today some parts remain, mainly around Jardín de San Carlos (Gardens of San Carlos).
Founded: 13th century | Location: A Coruña, Spain

Castro de Elviña

Castro de Elviña is a remnant of a Celtic military structure in A Coruña. It was in use from the 3rd century BCE until 4th century CE.
Founded: 300-200 BCE | Location: A Coruña, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Veste Coburg

The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.

A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.

In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.

Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.

In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.

17th through 19th centuries

From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.

In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.

20th century

The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.

In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.

Today

The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.